Gallery of Photos from the Event
Senator Barbara Mikulski's Letter to Captain Steven Barnum
(click "next" on each photo to advance)
|On Wednesday, April 15, 2009, NOAA's Office of Coast Survey held a ceremony in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to dedicate Research Vessel Bay Hydro II, NOAA's newest state-of-the-art hydrographic survey platform. Over 100 people were in attendance to celebrate the vessel's mission and wish the crew safe voyages, including officials from NOAA, Department of Commerce, Congress, national and state maritime organizations, museums, and aquariums.
The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley, a former Congresswoman from Maryland, joined Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Mary Glackin for the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle over the bow.
“R/V Bay Hydro II serves as NOAA’s ‘eyes’ to the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Glackin. “Since human eyes can’t see to the seafloor, R/V Bay Hydro II’s state-of-the-art equipment ensures NOAA can continue providing the nation with timely and accurate charts and quality science.”
Information collected by Bay Hydro II is used to update NOAA nautical charts. Nautical charts are navigational tools critical to ensuring safe and efficient marine transportation on America’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. Charts also help coastal managers, biologists, planners and policymakers better understand the Chesapeake Bay, which is a major transportation artery in the U.S.’s maritime transportation system.
Also delivering remarks included American Pilots Association President Captain Mike Watson and Assistant Administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service John H. Dunnigan. Jeremy Weirich, a staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee for Appropriations, delivered a statement on behalf of Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
"The Port of Baltimore depends on accurate charts to ensure maritime traffic flow freely," Mikulski stated. "I'm proud to have such an advanced test platform in Maryland's backyard--keeping America safe, and keeping America innovative."
The Chesapeake provides access to four of the nation’s busiest commercial seaports in cargo volume: Hampton Roads, Va., (14th), Baltimore (18th), Philadelphia (24th), and Wilmington, Del. (59th). These seaports link to major rail and interstate hubs, which allow for delivery of manufactured goods, petroleum and coal to the interior regions of the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast.
To access NOAA’s charts of the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay, visit the Online Chart-Viewer.
Visit the Bay Hydro II page for more specific information on the vessel.